For the most part, picking up a prescription is a fairly straightforward process.
However, for injured, elderly, or disabled individuals, things can get a little trickier. In these cases, it may be necessary to have somebody else pick up the prescription on the patient’s behalf.
Let’s look at the process to pick up a prescription as well as what the pharmacy requires for somebody to pick up a prescription on another patient’s behalf.
Picking Up Prescriptions
To be clear, when we say “picking up a prescription” or “filling a prescription”, we’re specifically talking about picking up medication on somebody else’s behalf at the pharmacy.
In other words, the prescription has been written for a patient already.
We do not mean getting a physician to write a prescription for somebody else. Doctors only write prescriptions for their specific patients.
Generally, the process of picking up a prescription for yourself is simple.
- The doctor sends the prescription to the pharmacy electronically, through fax, or writes a paper prescription for the patient.
- The patient goes to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.
- Pharmacy fills prescriptions and charges patients for the medication.
Most pharmacies will only require the patient’s name, date of birth, and valid form of payment to pick up a prescription. However, some medications, for example, controlled medication, will require a valid ID.
How Long Do You Have To Pick Up
Generally speaking, you have about 7 days to pick up a prescription that your doctor has sent to the pharmacy.
However, the prescription does not expire after 7 days.
Depending on the state and type of medication a prescription will remain valid for 6-12 months.
Prescriptions for uncontrolled medications such as lisinopril are typically valid for 12 months from the time a doctor writes the prescription while prescriptions for controlled medication such as Oxycodone are usually only good for 6 months.
If you have questions about how long your prescription is good for, check with the pharmacist or go to your state pharmacy board’s website to learn more.
What Happens If You Don’t Pick Up
If a prescription is not picked up within 7 days, the medication will likely be reshelved at the pharmacy.
In other words, the pharmacy will need to dispense the medication and have it verified by the pharmacist again before it is available for pick up. However, if a prescription expires then a doctor will need to write a new prescription.
As a reminder, depending on the state and type of medication a prescription will remain valid for 6-12 months.
Can someone else pick it up?
Simply put, yes – In most cases, someone else can pick up your prescription.
However, there are usually a few extra things that person will need.
For example, if the doctor gave a written prescription, the person picking up the medication will need the written prescription in order to have it filled at the pharmacy.
Most pharmacies will also require some sort of verification that you know the patient. This could mean knowing the patient’s name, date of birth, etc. Although, arriving at the pharmacy to pick up a specific prescription for the individual is enough for some pharmacists.
Ultimately, it comes down to the pharmacist’s professional judgment when allowing another person to pick up a prescription.
Can Someone Else Pick Up My Controlled Substance Prescription?
In most cases, someone else can pick up a controlled substance prescription on behalf of the patient.
However, these medications require a little extra from the person acting on behalf of the patient.
For example, in California, “No prescription for a controlled substance transmitted by means of an oral or electronically transmitted order shall be furnished to any person unknown and unable to properly establish his or her identity.”
In other words, the person will need to have a valid form of ID in order to receive the medication.
Additionally, if the controlled medication is being delivered most pharmacies will require a signature upon delivery.
Once again, it ultimately comes down to the pharmacist’s professional judgment so be sure to always check with a pharmacy ahead of time regarding their policies.
Picking Up For Someone Else
For the most part, picking up a prescription for someone else will be relatively easy.
Although controlled substances are a little trickier, with a valid ID and some patient knowledge, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Check with the pharmacy ahead of time regarding their policies and make sure you have everything you need.
Can a minor pick up a prescription for an adult?
It depends on the pharmacy’s policy. Generally, minors may face restrictions, especially for controlled substances. It’s best to check with the specific pharmacy.
Is there a limit to how many prescriptions I can pick up for others?
No standard limit exists, but pharmacies might have their own policies. Ensure you have all necessary information for each prescription.
What if I don’t have the patient’s ID but need to pick up their prescription?
Pharmacies usually require ID for controlled substances. For others, knowing the patient’s details might suffice. Contact the pharmacy to confirm their requirements.
Can I authorize someone else to pick up my prescription through a phone call to the pharmacy?
Some pharmacies may accept telephonic authorization, but it’s not universally accepted. It’s safer to provide written or electronic consent.
What if the prescription is in a different state from where the patient currently is?
Transferring prescriptions between states can be complex, especially for controlled substances. Contact both the prescribing doctor and the pharmacy for guidance.
Navigating the process of prescription pickup for someone else can be straightforward. Remember, each pharmacy may have unique requirements, especially for controlled substances. Always check with the pharmacy first to ensure a smooth process.